Beijing’s proposed subway price hike explained

Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2014-10-16 15:36:00

              Editor's Note

A public hearing will be held October 28 in Beijing to discuss the city's plans to raise its public transportation fees.

Under two different potential plans, the fare for a ride on the Beijing subway will be raised from 2 yuan ($0.30) to around 4.3 to 4.4 yuan, according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform.

Some experts expressed concern that a price hike may greatly affect those low-income earners living on Beijing's outskirts that have come to depend on the artificially-low transportation costs.

              Adjustment Plan

Frequent-commuter prices include 20 percent off for those that spend over 100 yuan a month and 50 percent off for travelers that spend over 150 yuan a month. Discounts unavailable for amounts over 400 yuan a month.

-Fares will be adjusted annually according to a pricing formula based on subway operation costs. 

-An overall systematic assessment of subway prices will be conducted around every five years.

-A variety of pre-paid tickets will be on offer, including daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal, annual and "commuter."

Source: The Beijing News - Beijing Morning Post


Beijing's subway saw 3.2 billion passengers in 2013, nearly four times the 0.65 billion in 2007, making up 39.8 percent in the city's total public transportation.

The city hopes the price adjustment will help motivate some commuters to take ground transportation.

The sale of every 2-yuan ticket is subsidized by an additional 2 yuan from the government, according to Ma Boyi, spokesman of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport. As a result, the subway has bled billions in recent years.

Source: bjpc.gov.cn-The Beijing News

              Background Info

In 1991, annual passenger flow reduced 10 million after a price rise of 0.3 yuan.

In 1996, the ticket price was raised to 2 yuan from 0.5 yuan, a move that reduced the annual number of passengers to 444 million from 558 million in 1995.

Source: Beijing Times-The Beijing News


Xie Taifeng, Dean of School of Finance, Capital University of Economics and Business
Many people take the subway as their main form of transportation, so the price hike may have a widespread influence. The Beijing subway has kept prices artificially low for years and commuters are used to it. Passengers welcome the low price and a raise would not be good for them. However, it has become a huge burden for the city government to provide annual subsidies in the billions beyond its capability. 

Source: Beijing Youth Daily

Lu Jiehua, Professor of Department of Sociology, Peking University
Our concerns should also be directed toward improving public transportation services, such as overall travel experience, departure intervals, security check efficiency and intelligence levels.The subway is extremely overcrowded during rush hours, which could pose a hindrance to public security during an emergency. With these problems left unsolved, it would still be difficult to satisfy the public aside from the price adjustment.  

Source: cnr.cn

Zhao Jian, Professor of School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University
Based on the stance of Beijing government and subway prices in other domestic cities, base fare will be likely raised to around 3 yuan and limited to a 10-yuan maximum. The exact price depends on factors such as operating costs and public opinion. The price should not increase drastically out of consideration for the public.

Source: Beijing Business Today

              Related Reports

Beijing considers subway price hike 
Commuters in Beijing have reacted with dismay on December 16, 2013 to proposals to raise subway fares during the capital's notoriously crowded rush hours in a bid to ease congestion. 

Beijing subway journeys top 10 million
Beijing subway has become one of the busiest in the world in terms of daily passenger journeys, Beijing Subway Company (BSC) said on March 13, 2013. 

Beijing subway network stretches to 465 km
The subway network in the Chinese capital of Beijing reached 465 km as a new section of Line 8 opened on December 28, 2013.

Web Editor: liyingxa@globaltimes.com.cn

Graphics: Li You/GT

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